ODM MPs who supported Jubilee on Waiguru saga risk facing disciplinary action
The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) MPs who recently “defied the party position” during a parliamentary meeting for grilling Devolution Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru over the controversy at the National Youth Service (NYS) risk facing disciplinary actions.
While the Jubilee alliance MPs were united in defending Waiguru over alleged procurement irregularities and an attempt to steal Sh800 million at the NYS, there was disunity among ODM members as some of them joined the Jubilee legislators in shouting down their counterparts, who tried in vain to put the CS to task over the saga.
ODM Director of Political Affairs Opiyo Wandayi who was heckled during the grilling exercise and forced to walk out in protest now says MPs Richard Onyonka (Kitutu Chache South) and Ken Obura (Kisumu Central) risk being punished for ‘betraying the party’.
“The position of ODM is that Waiguru should step aside to allow for investigations into the scandals at NYS. The MPs who joined Jubilee alliance members in shielding her went against the party,” Wandayi told The Standard.
“Every action has consequences and the MPs should be prepared for any decision the party will take against them. They should also prepare to face the wrath of voters during the next general election,” he added.
ODM is particularly worried about differences exhibited by members given their weak numerical strength in the National Assembly which has often played in the hands of its rival Jubilee alliance.
Mr. Wandayi, who is also the Ugunja MP said “it is unfortunate that the MPs were hired by the Jubilee Government to protect Waiguru from questioning”.
“It was embarrassing to the party and its supporters when its members shouted at each other in the camera over a very critical issue which required that we take one position,” he stated.
Mr. Onyonka is one of the legislators who heckled Wandayi as he tried to put across his allegation that youth in NYS uniform participated in the demonstrations in support of Ms. Waiguru, something that angered nominated MP Oburu Odinga.
Obura had also joined in by defending the pro- Waiguru protests, terming the youth who demonstrated as patriotic Kenyans who had come up to support a noble cause.
But the bitter exchange that had ensued between Onyonka and Oburu even widened the split.
Oburu was furious when Onyonka had dragged the name of ODM leader Raila Odinga into the argument.
“Please do not drag Raila’s name into this,” Oburu had told Onyonka, who also shouted back: “Exactly. That is the name and in any case, I am an elected member and represent my constituency while you are just a nominated MP.”
The drama among the ODM MPs has once again put the unity of the Orange party on the spot ahead of the 2017 General Election.
Speaking to the Standard, Onyonka laughed off the threats to discipline him: “I dare them. And I have no apologies to make,” he said.
“There was no party position about the matter. The fact that some few individuals said Waiguru should step aside does not mean it was a stand taken by the party. And if indeed it was the position of the party then it was not communicated to the members and I don’t know where members met and agreed,” he added.